Between 2013 and 2015 the Romanian public space faced one of the most tumultuous and consistent pages of civil discontent and social mobilization in its recent post-communist history. Starting with the protests against the mining exploitation in Roşia Montanǎ or the anti-fracking movement, and ending with the Colectiv Revolution, the civil society demanded that its interests and demands be reflected in the political decisions. In a country where the communist past left deep scars, the social movements of past three years could not pass unnoticed. Moreover, these events marked the rise of an authentic civil society, willing to prove its opposition toward the political actors and decisions and, at the same time, to demand them to act accountably and legitimately. This chapter seeks to provide an understanding on how the relation of cooperation between the individuals against the political authorities evolved during these protests.

From all the protests the chapter analyzes, the Roşia Montanǎ one is the most complex because cooperation was manifested at multiple levels – a local, national, and global one. However, I emphasize only the aspects related to the cooperation between individuals and NGOs in order to create a persuasive and efficient movement. Because the Roşia Montanǎ case was the starting point of the Romanian civic movements, it undoubtedly influenced the evolution and the deployment of succeeding protests, even though each one of them had their particularities. In this respect, I propose a transversal cut through the significant protests between 2013 and 2015. One may ask why I am taking into account several protests and not a single one. The answer, as simple as it may be, consists in the fact that all these events follow a similar pattern that can help us understand how cooperation was possible in the context of civic engagement and reaction to political decisions. For this purpose, I find it suitable to use the critical mass theory which can provide useful conceptual instruments for analyzing the Romanian social movement.